Saturday was an exciting day at Vincennes with both prep races for the Prix D’Amérique and the Prix De Vincennes. Here is a summary of the main events.
The highlight of the day was the Prix Du Bourbonnais, the second prep race for the Prix D’Amérique. Ready Cash had a 25m handicap because of his high earnings; this handicap normally makes this task difficult. But a real champion can overcome anything, no? Well Ready Cash was just amazing! He took a great start, waited followed Severino and then won with a lot of confidence, no one could follow him, he won easily. Severino put up a nice fight but the big difference between the two horses is that Christian Bigeon was quite demanding with his partner (who answered really well!) and Frank Nivard was just sitting still letting Ready Cash do the job. Roxane Griff did a great race, as always! It is a pity she got a bit stuck or she would probably have been fighting with Ready Cash and Severino. Private Love, last years winner did a good race with Anthony Barrier in the sulky. Punchy impressed me, he is always in the action, no matter the category, the track or the distance! What a tough little horse! The Scandinavian horses weren’t very lucky. Iceland was first three wide for nearly the whole race and got a bit tired. I heard that Tamla Celeber was preparing the Critérium Continental; she will be ready with the race she got Saturday. She started fast and took the lead; laid three wide until out of the last turn and weakened. Beanie M.M. was the best of the Swedish horses, he is a really tall (1m68) beautiful entire. He got a bit unlucky laying in the second half of the field, he tried to follow Ready Cash and Severino but Save The Quick was pulled out in front of him but none of them managed to follow Severino and Ready Cashs speed. Beanie M.M. had to go around his tired rivals to get a 7th place. It was a pity because he finished well, he didn’t look tired but he was quite far behind the whole time. I really hope he will race in France again, I think he has things to do here! At least for the places because I don’t think anyone can beat Ready Cash… I met Beanie M.M.s trainer Morten Waage and he hadn’t yet decided what the horse will do next.
In the Prix Narquois a group three for 5 year olds, Sogo showed style! It was only the third race since February, first time he finshed 7th, a couple of weeks ago he was second behind Sud in the Prix Des Chenonceaux, now it was his turn. Sogo is a good horse, he had some health problems after last winter, that’s why he hasn’t raced much; he has only raced 17 time, his rivals have raced between 30 and 40 times already. Looking forward to the Prix De Bourgogne in two weeks time!
Sir De Banville opened the day, winning the Prix Des Seiches-sur-le-Loir, a group three under saddle over 2175m. Sir De Banville was ridden by Ludovic Mollard, he is trained by Jean-Michel Bazire. There was a long fight between Sir De Banville and Jean Lucks Sakura Jiel, the gelding beat the mare on the finish line. November, 17th Sakura Jiel beat Sir De Banville with a nose, there is little to choose between these horses, they both went 1’13’4.
In the next race, the Prix Ariste Hémard, a group two for four year-old fillies over the “classic distance” : 2700m the two same trainers fought the first places. Tamara Jiel also races for Jean Lucks colours, she is trained by Jean-Luc Dersoir and she was droven by Jos Verbeeck. Tequila Berry was second, she took the lead in the final stretch but was beaten by Tamara Jiel who finished really fast. They both did a good time over the distance : 1’14’2. This race is an important race for the fillies in the winter-meeting. It is a prestigious race, before 2004 the race was open for colts and foreign horses. Varenne won the Prix Ariste Hémard in 1999, other foreigners Naglo, Gigant Neo, General November also got their names in the honour list. Excellent horses like Ténor De Beaune, Arnaqueur, Défi D’Aunou, Giant Cat and Jag De Bellouet have also won this race … Nowadays the equivalent for colts is the Prix Octave Douesnel.
The Prix Raoul Ballière, a group two for three year-olds under saddle was also very interesting. It was an easy win for Un Gergaud. Daniel Bethouart has some nice horses at the moment! Un Gergaud won his third consecutive race at Vincennes, he has raced only 8 times (for 4 victories). But unfortunately I heard that Un Gergaud hurt himself after the race, so I’m not sure when we will see him again… Un Tresor did a nice race but wasn’t a threat to the winner. Up Market and Up Lady finished near each other in front of Un Team De Nacre. I really like Un Team de Nacre, (especially since his trainer is one of my best friends). The horse is very good but he is a bit irregular and he showed that he could run against the best in spite of his very slow start. These horses will be seen again in the Prix De Vincennes.